Football

Arsenal must forget about signing Flamini

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Despite Arsene Wenger's reluctance to admit it, Mathieu Flamini looks set to return to Arsenal.

Wenger said in his press conference: "I don't say there's no chance and I don't say there is a chance [of signing him]."

Anyone familiar with the curiously-behaved Wenger, when it comes to discussing transfers, knows this is as clear as it gets - Flamini is back.

The former Gunner had gone from strength-to-strength in his first spell at the club and had become a key player during his final season, starting 39 times and forming a key partnership with the ever-improving Cesc Fabregas.

Despite this, the re-signing of the player who walked out on the club in 2008 is a worrying sign for Arsenal fans.

Flamini no doubt angered a number of fans when he refused to sign a new deal at and opted to join AC Milan instead.

This wasn't the first time he had walked out on a club either. He had joined Arsenal after previously agreeing to sign a senior contract with Marseille. A legal battle ensued but eventually Flamini was allowed to join the Gunners for a minimal fee.

His career never took off at the San Siro and indifferent form saw him exclusively used in a rotational role. There is no doubt this lack of playing time would've cost Flamini some fitness and, more importantly, some quality.

There is no telling if Flamini is the same player he was when he left Arsenal five years ago but the fact that he couldn't get in a team that has struggled to compete on the European and domestic stage since his arrival, is a sign of concern.

Another thing for Arsenal fans to worry about is what Wenger will make of this signing.

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Yohan Cabaye, already having a £10m bid dismissed by his club Newcastle United.

With the signing of Flamini, it would be no surprise if Wenger decided enough was enough in the midfield department.

If it were to happen as predicted it would echo a similar situation that occurred just last year.

Arsenal fans were left dreaming after they managed to secure a short-term loan for former hero Thierry Henry.

No doubt delighted, fans were quickly left concerned after the club failed to sign a striker on a permanent deal despite the over-reliance on Robin van Persie.

Whether a permanent addition of a quality player would've convinced Van Persie to stay on at the Emirates, we'll never know but the lack of support almost certainly helped Van Persie in his decision to leave.

For a manager as frugal as Wenger, the signing of Flamini will be seen as a genuine acquisition in which he will be able to check the 'need a midfielder' on his shopping list.

In a summer of frustration for Gunners fans, another free signing is the last thing they want.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Mathieu Flamini
Premier League
Football

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